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A Must Read for 1st Year Faculty: Re-evaluating Your Initial Salary Placement

By Luke Lara, FA Ombudsperson

The following article is applicable only to 1st year faculty. If you are not a 1st year faculty, but believe your initial placement on the salary schedule was erroneous, please reach out to an FA representative to discuss.


If you are anything like me, you were just grateful to be hired and start a new job. The paperwork you had to sign in Human Resources (HR) seemed overwhelming enough that small details could easily be missed. For example, what if HR didn’t have one of your transcripts with graduate coursework with which to evaluate and determine your initial salary placement accurately? It is easy to overlook this type of detail in the rush to apply for the job and get started.

Initial salary placement is based on Class (degree and units) and Step (work experience). According to Shawna Sourivanh, Interim Director of Human Resources, HR only provides up to a month from initial hire for the faculty member to provide evidence to support initial Step placement (work experience). However, there is an opportunity to have your initial salary placement re-evaluated based on Class (degree and units) within a longer timeframe.

The FA contract clause D.1.3. Initial Placement on the Salary Schedule states that, “If a newly hired faculty member has completed coursework or degree requirements prior to their date of hire that is not initially reflected on their transcript, they shall be retroactively placed at the appropriate class and step upon submission of a transcript showing the completion of coursework or degree requirements” (p. 38). The contract further states that the faculty member must submit transcripts by the end of their first contract year.

The contract also explains that, “Initial placement on the salary schedule above Class I is based on graduate semester hours and/or upper division semester hours taken as part of a graduate degree program at accredited colleges and universities after completion of a baccalaureate degree or possession of an earned Doctorate from an accredited institution or foreign equivalent” (p. 38). There are two guides in Appendix 6 (see pages 161-164) of the contract outlining the qualifications for the various classes I through VI, depending on whether the member is non-Career Education or Career Education faculty.

In summary, if you are a 1st year faculty member and you believe your initial placement should be re-evaluated, you only have until the end of spring semester to make a correction. You can reach out to an FA representative or contact Nashona Andrade, Human Resources Supervisor, if you have any questions or concerns.


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